Tag Archives: pinterest impossible

Pinterest:Impossible – Mini Pumpkin Pies

pinterestimpossiblelogonobackgroundI am not a baker.

And when I say I’m not a baker, what I mean is that I burn cookies because I get bored (and full) after baking and eating most of the first batch, I make lopsided and sometimes gooey cakes from the box, and my brownies have a fifty-fifty shot of turning out hard as a rock.

My theory is that there is just too much math involved in baking, and math and I do not get along.

However, not being a baker aside, I have found that sometimes – if the stars align and the mood is right and the recipe actually makes sense to me – I can manage to make tasty baked goods. Tasty enough that when Thanksgiving rolled around and food items needed to be brought to family dinner, I decided to bake something. I was gonna go with pumpkin cheesecake bars, but there was a worry that no one was bringing pie (and you can’t have Thanksgiving without pie!).

Being the ever accommodating individual that I am, I changed up my baking plans and settled on Mini Pumpkin Pies instead. It seemed like a no-brainer really. I like pumpkin pie. I like bite-sized things. Combining the two was not rocket science.

minipumpkinpie

Luckily for me, the recipe I selected on Pinterest wasn’t rocket science either. It included only five ingredients, two cooling racks, one electrical appliance, and one muffin pan. I could totally handle a line-up like that.

The hardest part for me in making the mini pies was dealing with the mini pie crusts. The recipe called for using refrigerated pie crusts, cut down into 4″ size by a cookie cutter. I had no cookie cutter. I tried using a glass tumbler but it was too small. Then my father, who cannot seem to stay out of the kitchen when I am cooking/baking/breathing at his house, handed me a martini glass to try instead. Turned out to be almost the perfect size. Always helps to have connections with an extensive collection of booze glassware, folks!

For once I made no substitutions on the ingredient list, but as there were only five things on it that wasn’t very surprising. My pies did turn out a bit plainer in appearance than those in the recipe, however. I didn’t have cookie cutters in the shapes of leaves and pumpkins to make decorations for the top, and I was using a glass to cut the crusts so there wasn’t decorative edges on them.

Luckily the little pies turned out tasty, so how fancy they looked wasn’t really important. None of them were burnt, none of them exploded, none of them tasted like the filling hadn’t been mixed thoroughly. Once they’d cooled off and had a chance to really firm up they were just as good as any pumpkin pie I’ve ever had from a store bakery.

I’m pretty proud of that really. I might even try to bake again sometime. Just to see if it was a fluke or if perhaps maybe my poor baking skills have finally improved. Anything is possible, right?

– Mia V.

 

*Be sure to check out all the great recipes we have on our Pinterest:Impossible board!

SOURCE – Mini Pumpkin Pies

Pinterest:Impossible – CrockPot Vietnamese Pho Soup

pinterestimpossiblelogoI love pho.

Really I love all Vietnamese food, and I’ll devour a plate of spring rolls and fried rice and grilled meat quite happily if it is put in front of me.

But I love pho the best.

When I first started really trying to learn how to cook Asian dishes I bought myself a Vietnamese cookbook and I made chicken pho once.

Only once.

beefpho2While the soup I made turned out warm and delicious and filling, it was also incredibly time consuming and complicated to make. I found the whole process rather stressful as I was sure I was going to miss one of the dozens (at least it seemed like dozens) of ingredients or one of the hundreds (it seemed like hundreds) of important steps necessary to making the pho correctly.

I never tried making it again. I’ve been quite satisfied with going to restaurants where professional chefs make the pho for me, and I get to just sit and enjoy it.

And then I found a recipe for pho that you make in the Crockpot. Suddenly it didn’t seem like such a chore to make delicious Vietnamese soup at home by myself.

Yay! Seriously, yay!

The recipe I found called for using already made beef broth or stock, which cut at least half of the process out right off of the bat.

Once again, yay!

I do understand why stock is important and why it makes things taste so great BUT it is a pain to make and I don’t usually have the patience to do it. So I made the recipe with the pre-existing beef broth because I’m lazy and it was easy and I figured it would be almost just as nearly as good.

The only substitution I made to the recipe was using a tablespoon of ground ginger instead of a chunk of ginger. I don’t have a lot of experience using fresh ginger so I didn’t want to attempt it and possibly mess up the soup.

Of course, the difference between ground and fresh ginger is not the only thing that can mess up a recipe. On the instructions I had it used ‘t’ for amounts of spices. I’m not used to just a ‘t’ as a measurement. I tend to expect either a ‘tsp’ for teaspoon or a ‘T’ for tablespoon.

Needless to say, I got confused. I took a risk that the ‘t’ meant tablespoon since there was so much soup in the Crockpot.

It may have been the wrong choice. The first time I taste-tested the pho about an hour later it was INCREDIBLY salty. The salt and fish sauce were so very prevalent that I gagged a little bit. And then I got mad and yelled at myself a little bit because that’s the kind of person I am.

beefphoEventually, when I was done beating myself up over the salty affair, I went ahead and added two more cups of water to the broth and a little bit of mirin cooking sake because that’s what seems to soften the saltiness of soy sauce when making fried rice. I figured it couldn’t make the soup any worse, at least, so was worth a shot.

Being a grumpy coward, I had someone else try the pho when it was finally done cooking. They gave the broth a good sip or two, claimed that it really wasn’t that bad – and in fact was actually quite tasty – and so I dumped in the noodles, let them soften for about fifteen minutes, and called the whole thing done.

And it really did turn out more than edible. I had a couple of bowls of beef pho, while my friend had pretty much all the rest. It was even good as reheated leftovers the next day, which was impressive considering rice noodles get weird in soup over time.

I am definitely going to have to try this recipe again in the future, and this time use teaspoons instead of tablespoons to see how it works out. Maybe I wasn’t wrong, and the person who created the recipe just LOVES their salt.

Though I can admit that isn’t very likely.

– Mia V.

 

*Be sure to check out all the great recipes we have on our Recipes! and Pinterest:Impossible boards!

SOURCE – Crockpot Vietnamese Pho Soup

Pinterest:Impossible – Gyoza and Teriyaki Chicken

pinterestimpossiblelogonobackgroundThere’s just something about having family in town that makes me want to cook. Call me crazy (you wouldn’t be the first) but feeding a large group (at least half a dozen adults and two kids going through a picky phase) of people whose opinions actually matter to me seems like an excellent challenge. AND an excellent opportunity to try out some more recipes from Pinterest!

Last week for Family Dinner I made gyoza, Teriyaki chicken, and chicken fried rice. I pulled gyoza (or potstickers if that name works better for you) and Teriyaki chicken recipes from Pinterest and used my own tried and true fried rice recipe. I’ve spent YEARS perfecting that one and am quite proud of it.

And to be completely honest here, I’ve made gyoza before so they weren’t a huge challenge for me. The recipe I found was not exactly the same as the one I’ve used in the past, however, and two times out of every five that I make gyoza I burn them a bit, so there is still some work involved for me in making them.

chinesefood

Before you ask, yes, of course, I made substitutions and changes to the recipes. I can’t seem to help it. I like stuff the way I like it and that is that. The gyoza called for cabbage to be included in the filling along with the pork, but I’ve never thought it was necessary. The pork is so flavorful by itself (well with all the spices and seasonings mixed in) that cabbage seems superfluous to me. PLUS it always seems that if I buy cabbage I don’t use enough in the gyoza and there is tons left over and I don’t know what to do with it. I’m cool with cabbage but I don’t love it and I don’t want to be eating it for weeks just because it comes in giant quantities.

I also took out the shiitake mushrooms and I’m not sorry. I don’t like mushrooms and I don’t want them in my gyoza. So there.

Gyoza are wonderful and delicious and addictive, but they also take awhile to make as you have to individually fill the little wrappers and then fold them properly so they don’t fall open while cooking. THEN you have to fry them a bit til the bottoms are a light brown and then steam them a bit so the sides are nice and chewy. It is an involved process that takes more than a few minutes and so I needed the dishes that I was making along with the gyoza to be a bit simpler. That’s why I was very happy to find a Teriyaki chicken recipe that was made in the slow cooker. I set up the chicken and sauce before I left for work and by the time I got home it smelled amazing and tasted even better. The only change I made to that recipe was cutting up the chicken before adding to the slow cooker. I thought it would be easier to deal with once it was cooked if it was cut into small chunks.

The fried rice turned out to be the most complicated (and messy) dish I made, and that was mainly because I was making it in my dad’s kitchen without the use of my giant rice cooker and electric wok. Juggling different mix-ins between frying pans and big pots was not the easiest thing to do but I managed as well as I could. And the rice turned out pretty tasty, if I do say so myself (and I do!).

Between the gyoza, Teriyaki chicken, and fried rice, I’d have to say everything turned out well. My family ate lots of food and my picky five-year-old nephew even ate two gyoza, so I’m counting this Pinterest:Impossible a success!

– Mia V.

 

*Be sure to check out all the great recipes we have on our Fox 28 Foodies Unite! and Pinterest:Impossible boards!

**Interested in my fried rice recipe? Just let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to share!

SOURCE – gyoza
SOURCE – crock pot teriyaki chicken

 

 

Pinterest:Impossible – Stuffed Hot Dogs

pinterestimpossiblelogonobackgroundIt’s National Hot Dog Month and what better way to celebrate than by making (and eating) hot dogs! I scoured the Pinterest boards trying to find the tastiest looking hot dog recipes out there. I’ve always been a ketchup-onions-relish kind of girl myself, but I’m pretty open-minded and it was fun seeing just how many dozens of recipes for hot dogs exist.

I actually picked two that looked interesting and delicious, but only ended up making one. Hey, it was the Fourth of July and I was drinking fun ‘lady’ beers (Mike’s Hard Lemonade) and watching RoboCop 3 (yes, seriously, I sat all the way through it and I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about that) and it was hot and cooking sounded less than fun, so I only made one recipe and that’s that.

Stuffed Hot Dogs were what I went with. They included fun toppings like crushed Doritos, cheese, ketchup, onions, and Worchestshire sauce, but instead of being placed on top of the dog, the dog was split open and had everything stuffed inside. They were not too difficult to make, though I was a little concerned while splitting the hot dogs open as I wanted to make room for all the filling but didn’t want to split the dog so far it would fall apart.

stuffedhotdogs

In the grand tradition of Being Me, I did change up the recipe somewhat from the listed instructions. I got Doritos instead of potato chips and sandwich rolls instead of hot dog buns. Nothing too big, but I think the Doritos added an extra flavor kick to the filling mix. The sandwich rolls were tasty but too big, so I’m thinking in the future I need to pay closer attention to how things match up size-wise.

The first hot dog I ate without any additional condiments. I figured with all the stuff squashed inside of the meat it wouldn’t need anymore flavor. While it was tasty, it was also a little dry, so for my second hot dot I added a generous dollop of honey mustard.

I love honey mustard. It’s the best condiment ever invented. I could eat it (and have eaten it) on almost anything. (Bit of friendly advice though, don’t try honey mustard on chocolate cake. It will not work out.)

Stuffed Hot Dogs are a fun twist on a classic food and this recipe was nice and easy to make. I’d definitely call this Pinterest:Impossible a WIN, even if I had to cut off the end of the sandwich rolls to make the hot dogs fit.

– Mia V.

 

*Be sure to check out all the great recipes we have on our Fox 28 Foodies Unite! and Pinterest:Impossible boards!

(SOURCE – stuffed hot dogs)

Pinterest:Impossible – Chicken Gyros and Thai Chicken Soup

pinterestimpossiblelogonobackgroundI went a little crazy with the chicken last weekend. I can see that now. But it all turned out so good, you won’t see me complaining.

I picked two slow cooker recipes to try off Pinterest this time aroundChicken Gyros with Tzatziki and Thai Chicken Soup. I love gyros and I love Thai food so they seemed like no brainers. PLUS they were slightly more complicated than most slow cooker recipes I make. It seemed like it might be time to push myself a bit

chickengyros

First up were the Chicken Gyros. The chicken part was actually pretty simple. I just mixed the meat with onions and herbs (dill and oregano) and a bunch of lemon juice. The recipe called for “the juice of two large lemons” but I had the little lemon-shaped squeeze bottle of juice so I had to guess on how much was equal to “two large lemons.” The chicken was edible so I must have guessed right.

There were very few alterations I made to the recipe this time around. I skipped lemon wedges, lettuce, and tomatoes ‘for serving,’ and I used regular salt instead of sea salt. But otherwise I followed the instructions exactly (well okay, there was that lemon juice thing, but whatever).

About a half an hour before the chicken was done cooking (and boy did that smell good in the slow cooker for three hours) I made the Tzatziki, which is basically the yogurt sauce stuff that goes in the gyro with the meat. The recipe included Greek yogurt and sour cream so I had a feeling it would be amazing.

The Tzatziki was the complicated bit of this recipe.  I combined yogurt and sour cream and garlic and olive oil and mixed them up. Then I had to include grated cucumber. I have never used grated cucumber before and actually watched a few YouTube videos to make sure I was doing it right. I’m glad they mentioned scooping out the seeds beforehand to keep the Tzatziki from being too runny.

The gyros came out almost a total WIN. The chicken was a little dry and I’m not sure if that was because I cooked it too long or my slow cooker just cooks too hot. I’m still learning how to use it properly so it was probably user error in this case. The next time I try this recipe I’ll do it on Low and check more often to catch it at the perfect stage of done-ness.

thaichickensoup

My second recipe was Thai Chicken Soup. It included red curry, peanut butter, coconut milk, and fish sauce. Basically a bit of every good Thai recipe EVER. I was also very particular about following the instructions on this one. I included everything in the ingredient list except cilantro (because I don’t need to garnish my soup) and cooked brown rice, because later it says to serve with white rice instead and I found that all kind of confusing. Also, I love long grain white rice so I went with it instead.

Getting everything into the pot for the soup was pretty easy. About halfway through cooking, however, I noticed that it looked like the coconut milk was separating from the rest of the broth and clumping up. In fact it looked a bit like I had dumped cottage cheese in the soup. I mixed it up thoroughly but it never completely smoothed out. I went online to see if broth separation was common with this kind of soup but wasn’t able to find anything explaining it.

Obviously I was a bit concerned with how the soup would turn out. But luckily, though it looked kind of strange, it tasted wonderful. The peanut butter was obvious in the aroma wafting off the slow cooker, but the taste in the soup itself was quite light. Overall it was a little bit sweet, a tiny bit spicy, and a tad nutty. I thoroughly enjoyed it (especially with rice), which is a good thing as the recipe made about enough for at least six people.

– Mia V.

*Be sure to check out all of the great recipes we’ve got on our Fox28 Foodies Unite and Pinterest:Impossible boards!

SOURCE – chicken gyros
SOURCE – thai chicken soup

Pinterest:Impossible – Slow Cooker Tikka Masala

tikkamarsalaI love my Crockpot.

It just makes things so very easy sometimes.

I throw some ingredients in the bowl, turn the pot on, and go off to do other stuff for a few hours while it simmers and cooks and makes a tasty dinner for me.

Lovely, lovely invention.

So this weekeend I tried a new Crockpot recipeChicken Tikka Masala. Confession, I have only had real Indian food once in my life, which is sad because once I tasted it I realized just how much I had been missing out. The first time I had Chicken Tikka Masala with warm naan bread and fragrant rice I was a fan for life.

Because of this I’m sure you can imagine how excited I was to find a Slow Cooker Tikka Masala recipe to try at home. It included quite a few more ingredients than I was used to cooking with – and at least one that I was totally unfamiliar with – but I was determined to try it anyway.

How bad could it turn out, after all?

I did make a few alterations to the recipes (of course). I didn’t include paprika because I forgot to see if I had any at home already and didn’t pick any up at the store. I didn’t top with cilantro because I’m not super fond of cilantro, and I skipped the cayenne pepper because I’m not used to making spicy foods and wasn’t sure I’d make it too spicy for me to eat.

It also had slightly less Greek yogurt than it was supposed to, but that was only because I’m bad at math.

Even with the intentional (and not so intentional) changes to the recipe I think my Tikka Masala turned out pretty dang tasty. It was a bit sweeter than I expected, but still had a nice spicy undertone. And it smelled AMAZING. All the cinnamon and cumin and Garam Masala (which is a blend of cinnamon and cumin among other things) combined to make an aromatic masterpiece.

My kitchen STILL smells of Indian food a day later and I’m totally okay with that.

I did find myself with a bunch of the sauce part left over, so when I try this recipe again I’ll add more chicken (or perhaps chicken in small pieces instead of large chunks). I will also be looking into either making or buying naan bread.

Tikka Masala with rice is delicious. Tikka Masala with warm naan bread is amazing.

– Mia V.

*Be sure to check out all of the great recipes we’ve got on our Fox28 Foodies Unite and Pinterest:Impossible boards!

 

(SOURCE – recipe)

Pinterest:Impossible – Breakfast Bites

Today was Birthday Breakfast in the local sales department here at Fox 28. Within a two week span four team members were celebrating birthdays and to we celebrated with dozens of donuts, fresh baked cinnamon bread, orange cranberry scones, and (the only savory dish in a pile of carb and sugar loaded goodness) Breakfast Bites.

I brought the Breakfast Bites. Hence this whole blog post.

Yesterday when I was trying to figure out what to bring, and it was sounding like the majority of people were bringing sweet treats, I floated on to Pinterest to find some ideas. These tasty egg/muffin/mini frittata things popped up immediately.

Now I have made mini frittatas before so choosing this recipe wasn’t exactly a giant risk for me. BUT I have had issues in the past with getting my mini frittats to not only retain shape when removed from the muffin pans, but also not stick with egg-y zeal to the muffin pans. Because this recipe called for starting off with hash browns instead of eggs, I thought it might work out better than normal.

In the grand tradition of me making alterations to existing recipes, I changed a few things up in this one. After a particularly painful and gruesome experience with my cheese grater (this is a food blog so I will not go further into detail) I didn’t want to make hashbrowns from scratch. I bought frozen instead and thawed them out before using. I also added in ham, cause my fellows and I like breakfast meat and ham is dang tasty in eggs.

breakfastbitesPI

I also made a few unintended alterations to the recipe later on. It called for cumin, nutmeg, salt and pepper to be added in a several points. I completely forgot any of those things were in the recipe, got into my cooking with the mindset that I pretty much had it all figured out, and didn’t realize I’d missed anything until the Breakfast Bites were done.

Oh well. They were delicious even without the extra spice and pizazz.

They were also really easy to make. I lined the bottom of the muffin openings with hashbrowns, poured the egg/veggie/cheese/ham mixture on top, baked the requisite time, and ta-da! Excellent looking little Breakfast Bites! They popped out of the muffin pan without sticking at all and retained their great muffin shapes.

The Bites were a big hit at the Birthday Breakfast and I already have plans to make them again in the (very) near future. As I’ll be cooking them for brunch at home, mimosas will probably be served alongside them. Because MIMOSAS.

– Mia V.

*Be sure to check out all the other great recipes we’ve got on Pinterest in our Fox Foodies Unite board!

(Source – recipe)